Dallas Cowboys @ Detroit Lions Matchup Preview 11/17/19: Analysis, Daily Fantasy

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The Cowboys are heading to Detroit to take on the Lions this Sunday. Despite a couple of tough losses, the Cowboys have remained one of the top teams this season. Their offense is in the top 5 for average yards per game, average yards per carry, and average yards per attempt. Their pass defense has also been ranking pretty high, coming in 6th place for both yards per game and yards per attempt. The Lions, on the other hand, faltered last week without Stafford. Driskel completed 27 of 46 passes for 269 yards, one touchdown, one interception, and a passer rating of 73.6. Without much of a run game, the Lions were only able to put up 13 points, 7 of which were through their place kicker Matt Prater. Their defense has allowed opponents to get an average 402.1 yards per game, which doesn’t look great in a matchup against such a high-powered Cowboys offense. Overall, I’m expecting the Cowboys to win this one, as I don’t think the Lions defense will be able to handle the Cowboys offense.

TV Schedule

Date: Sunday, November 17th, 2019
Time: 10:00 AM PST
Location: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Coverage: FOX

Injury Report:

Cowboys: Amari Cooper (Q), Demarcus Lawrence (Q), Zack Martin (Q), Antwaun Woods (Q), C.J. Goodwin (Q), La’el Collins (Q), Cameron Fleming (Q), Connor Williams (O)
Lions: Sam Martin (Q), John Atkins (Q), Kevin Strong (O), Da’Shawn Hand (Q), Matthew Stafford (Q), Tracy Walker (Q), Miles Killebrew (Q), Romeo Okwara (Q), Rick Wagner (Q), Ty Johnson (Q)

Dallas Cowboys Analysis

Dallas CowboysDespite a tough loss on Sunday against the Vikings, Dak Prescott had a big game. He completed 28 of 46 passes for 397 yards, 3 touchdowns, and an interception. Ezekiel Elliott, however, didn’t have as great of a game. He put up only 47 yards on 20 carries for an average of 2.4 yards per carry, a huge rarity for him. Despite this aberration, Elliott is still one of the league’s strongest rushers. He has 788 yards, 6 touchdowns, and 4.4 yards per carry on the season. The Vikings allow an average of 91.2 rushing yards per game, so while they have a strong rush defense, these numbers from Zeke are still pretty rare. Luckily for Elliott and the Cowboys offense, the Lions allow the 7th most rushing yards per game, at 129.7. This isn’t the only good for the Cowboys offense. The Lions defense allows 402.1 yards of offense on average, the 3rd most in the league. The Cowboys are ranked 1st for yards per game, with 437.4, and average yards per attempt, with 8.7. I’m expecting some pretty big numbers out of this Dallas offense on Sunday.

The Dallas defense is also pretty strong this season. Their pass defense allows an average 219.8 yards per game, 6th fewest in the league. They allow an average 89.3 passer rating, and 6.7 yards per game. This is going to be especially good for them if Stafford isn’t starting, and Driskel is in his place. Driskel completed 27 of 46 passes for 269 yards, one touchdown, one interception, and a passer rating of 73.6 last game against the Bears. The Cowboys defense allows even fewer passing yards on average than the Bears. If Driskel plays against the Cowboys, I think they’ll have a pretty easy time containing the Lions. If Stafford is back, it will be a bit tougher but I’m still expecting a Cowboys victory.

Dallas Cowboys Depth Chart

QB: Dak Prescott
RB1: Ezekiel Elliott
RB2: Tony Pollard
WR1: Amari Cooper
WR2: Michael Gallup
WR3: Randall Cobb
TE: Jason Witten

Detroit Lions Analysis

Detroit LionsThe Lions were pretty offensively underwhelming on Sunday. The Lions have been a pretty one-dimensional offense this season without much of a running game. This has kind of been working for them, due to the talent of Matthew Stafford. Stafford’s importance in this offense was emphasized in their game against the Bears on Sunday. Driskel completed 27 of 46 passes for 269 yards, a touchdown, and an interception, netting himself a 73.6 point passer rating. They gained a total 367 yards of offense on Sunday. The Cowboys passing defense allows fewer average yards than the Bears does, so if Driskel is in the game he’s going to need to step it up in order to keep his team in this matchup. If Stafford is playing they’ll have a better chance, but it won’t be easy against the Cowboys pass defense. The Cowboys rush defense is good, but not as good as their pass defense. The Lions might have more success on the ground, if they can get their running game going. J.D. McKissic had 10 carries for 36 yards and Ty Johnson had 5 carries for 16 yards. These aren’t the greatest numbers, but they’ll have an easier (but not easy) matchup to flex their skills against on Sunday.

Defensively, the Lions have a tough matchup against one of the most powerful offenses in the league. The Lions allow an average of 402.1 yards per game, the 3rd most in the league, just behind the Bengals and the Cardinals. They also allow an average 26.3 points per game, the 9th most in the league. The Lions allow an average 129.7 yards over the ground, which is a feast of a stat for Ezekiel Elliott. I’m expecting a win from the Cowboys in this game, because I don’t think the Lions defense is going to be able to handle an offense this powerful. There’s a chance if they can learn from the Vikings and shut Elliott down, but based on how they’ve played against the run so far this season I don’t expect that to happen against one of the best backs in the league.

Detroit Lions Depth Chart

QB: Matthew Stafford*
RB1: Ty Johnson
RB2: JD McKissic
WR1: Marvin Jones
WR2: Kenny Golladay
WR3: Danny Amendola
TE: T.J. Hockenson

Daily Fantasy

I’d stay away from starting any receivers on the Lions. They’ve had some good fantasy receivers this season, like Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay. However, the combination between Driskel being the potential starter, and the Cowboys’ strong pass defense leads me to believe the Lions are going to have a tough time throwing. If it turns out that Stafford is playing, then starting a Lions receiver might still be a good idea, but if not I’d suggest considering pulling somebody off of your bench. I’m expecting the Cowboys to put up some big points and big yards this game. They’re one of the most productive offenses, playing against the defense that allows the 3rd most yards per game, 402.1. The signs point to them having a great offensive day, so if you have any Cowboys players on your roster who would be starting/seeing the ball on Sunday, especially a receiver like Cooper, Cobb, or Gallup I think it’d be a good idea to keep them off of your bench.

I'm a student at UC Santa Barbara studying English. I've been watching football for almost my entire life. A couple of years ago, I started to really get into statistics and became a lot more interested in the NFL and have been really excited about it ever since.

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